Book Review: Knowingly Familiar

This week’s book review is Alma T.C. Boykin’s Knowingly Familiar. It is Book 16 in the Familiar Tales series. And, until this week, was the latest in that series of stories about the magical community in Riverton. I like to think that the Riverton of the familiars is the Riverton my grandparents lived in and I visited frequently as a small child. The weather and some of the town features are similar…hmmm….but, back to the book.

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Prompt: Trees

It’s been a week of snow and ice storms, which makes perfect weather for writing. For Week Six of Odd Prompts I got this one from Fiona Grey: “…plenty of swimming trees in the lake, as you can see,” the realtor said with a sweep of her hand toward the picture window. “They don’t bother anyone, but prefer to be left alone. Now, the kitchen is a real treasure…” The prompt brought to mind the level of blasé some realtors can call up when dealing with features in a house that make most of us go, huh? I have a few friends who are real estate agents and I could actually visualize them waving off swimming trees and just a fun quirk of the property.

But what if it was a defense mechanism by the house?

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Cancel Culture, Fear, and Censorship

And now we bring them all together. Fear is the thing that ties cancel culture and censorship together. Yes, cancel culture and censorship are essentially the same thing, but there are differences. I’ve talked about censorship before. Can a non-governmental organization censor an individual? Yes, it can. The constitution prohibits the government from censoring speech, but it does not mean that a non-governmental organization cannot do so. Just because it’s legal does not mean that deplatforming or removing a website from your servers because you don’t like their political views is not censorship. Of course it is. Declaring it to be a legal action done by a private company does not make it any less censorious. Especially when said company has set itself up as a tech version of the public square.

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The Culture War is Coming For You Whether You Like it Or Not

THE WOKE: Everyone we don’t like is a nazi. If you disagree with us about anything, you’re a nazi. That black woman? Nazi. That Jewish guy? Jewish nazi. That old guy who literally got blown up fighting nazis? Also a nazi for not agreeing with us. If you question this in any way? Nazi. And … Continue reading The Culture War is Coming For You Whether You Like it Or Not →

Source: The Culture War is Coming For You Whether You Like it Or Not

Just as you will be made to fear, you will be made to conform. Do as we say today (yes, we’ll change it all tomorrow but won’t tell you how), or we will destroy you.

Book Review: Divided We Fall

I’ve always liked anthologies because I can get a taste of multiple authors at one time. Anthologies also introduce me to authors I haven’t yet read and finding new authors is always fun. This week’s book review subject is Divided We Fall: One Possible Future edited by Tiffany Reynolds and Patty McIntosh-Mize. The authors include Sarah A. Hoyt, Brad Torgerson, Mack Henkel, Jon Del Arroz, and more. There are twelve stories in all. All twelve are good to great, but I’m only going to go into detail about a few of them here.

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Week 5 prompt: Memories

This week’s prompt challenge came from Leigh Kimmel. Leigh’s prompts always make me think. This time, I figured out a way to return to my world of Academic Magic. I think this may be a part of Book #3, or it may be part of a short story. Not sure yet. The prompt was: While visiting a distant city, you make a wrong turn and discover a store or restaurant you remember fondly from childhood. Although you know the company went out of business years ago, the lights are on and there are people inside, just like you remember… As I started thinking about it, the picture in my head became Shop Street in Galway, Ireland. I’ve spent a lot of time there. Yes, it’s a touristy area now, but there is a charm to it that I just love.

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How does a third party become viable?

The question came up in an online group: What would it take to get you to support a third party? A number of responses came back. Some said that they’d been too disappointed in others like the Libertarian party (described as Democrats Lite) and thus had gone back to changing the existing Republican party. Others that third parties never ran viable candidates or ended up appearing too crazy. Several said that a third party should abide by the US Constitution and not compromise on that. In addition, a clear set of values needed to be articulated and adhered to. My response was that to truly be viable, a third party would need to not only criticize current policies from major parties, but offer viable, workable alternatives to those policies. It was also noted that to gain support, a third party would need to identify actual problems as opposed to proposing solutions to problems that don’t exist.

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Book Review: What Does This Button Do?

This week’s book review is not an urban fantasy selection. It’s Bruce Dickinson’s autobiography, What Does This Button Do?. Like many people, I have an eclectic range of interests when it comes to reading. Well, let’s be honest, I’ll pick up pretty much anything if it looks interesting. On a three-week backpacking trip through Europe after college I read five or six Jason Bourne novels…in a row. I discovered how formulaic they were, but they kept me engaged until the next hostel or pension. Hostels had (or may still, I don’t know) libraries that functioned as sort of pick up/drop off points for books (this was waaaaaay before phones and tablets or e-readers. Way before). Pick up a book in London, read it, drop it off at hostel in Edinburgh or Paris or Nice or wherever, and pick up another one. I read a lot of things in terms of genre and authors that I might not have otherwise. It was definitely a way to broaden my already wide reading horizons. All that is to explain why I read and write urban fantasy but end up reviewing a book by and about the lead singer of Iron Maiden.

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Some things shouldn’t be mixed

And here we are at Week 4 of More Odds Than Ends prompts. One month down, eleven to go! I am really hoping that this year goes much better than last year. Really. But, as I’ve said before, one of the things that keeps me sane and feeling productive are these prompts. This week my prompt came from Cedar Sanderson: ripped from the headlines: “Oklahoma police found their vehicle contained a rattlesnake, a canister of uranium, an open bottle of whiskey and a firearm” Why…? This was one of those prompts that made me go Hmmm…ooookay. What do I do with this? After a bit of noodling around, I came up with this.

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